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6 Answers

Runway chose

Asked by: 3145 views General Aviation

I recently took the written ppl exam and there was one question I just did not know what to answer.

Question :

Night flying, calm weather, full moon on the horizon. What runway will you choose?

Answer :

a. 08

b. 17

c. 27

d. 35


Anybody have an idea?



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6 Answers

  1. Paul Tocknell on Dec 05, 2011

    Without some more accompanying information, it’s hard to know how to answer this question.  Was there   any diagram, picture or page from an AFD to accompany this question? 

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  2. Koehn on Dec 05, 2011

    17/35 is a valid runway, but you cannot have 8/27: it’s either 9/27 or 8/26. That might be a hint, or it might be a typo. All other things being equal, I’d pick the long runway with the working lights.

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  3. Chris on Dec 06, 2011

    @ Koehn Sorry typo on the runway
    @ Paul No further info was given.
    My thinking behind the question was that flying towards the moon gives you  better visibility than flying away from it, in a hazy or foggy situation, but that info was not given. So for me the most eastery rwy was my pick.

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  4. Matej Dostal on Dec 06, 2011

    Here is my thinking process:
    The problem with the moon is than you cannot know whether it is rising or setting, as the moonrise and moonset times change throughout the month and can be basically at any time during a whole day.
    I would not want to land into the sun as it would blind me and decrease forward visibility in all but the cleares atmosphere. It is different with the moon as it does not blind you and it can help you identify the horizon.
    I would generally land with the moon behind my back to illuminate the ground provided the winds are calm etc. If the moon were setting/rising i would consider using it to identify the horizon, ie fly towards it.
    So I would land facing the moon rising/setting (why else would they mention the moon being on horizon). That means the moon will set/rise either to the west/east or a bit south from these directions (for the majority of USA, it might be different for southern Florida around the 21st of June). And it is not going to set to the south (rwy 17, again for the majority of USA, not for Northern Alaska in winter). Rwy 35 is out of the question, so is rwy 17. Rwy 08 is a bit to the north so that leaves me with rwy 27.

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  5. Bob Watson on Dec 10, 2011

    A full moon on one horizon means a sun on the opposite horizon. So, for me that would eliminated the E/W runways becuase you’d be looking into one or the other.Assuming the northern hemisphere, you’re more likely to facing into either or both to the south, so I’d pick RWY 35.
    Of course where I live in Seattle, During the winter the sun/moon rise and set in the SE/SW and in the summer its more in the NE/NW so it would depend on the time of year, here.

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  6. Matej Dostal on Dec 10, 2011

    To add to my previous comment the chances are it’s actually not going to be a night flight anyway. Just as Bob said the sun will be on the opposite horizon, more precisely either above, on or slightly below. So even if the sun is below the horizon it will probably still be within the requirements for official twilight.
    I’d really be interested and what the author meant us to take into account and what the answer is supposed to be and why.

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